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Nursing and Residential Homes

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 12:19 pm on 3rd April 2001.

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Photo of John Hutton John Hutton Minister of State, Department of Health, Minister of State (Department of Health) (Health) 12:19 pm, 3rd April 2001

No. I will not. I gave the hon. Gentleman a chance to make his point, but he did not do it terribly well.

To be fair to the hon. Gentleman and his hon. Friend, I accept that more spending is required on social services, but we are doing that in an unprecedented way. To compare like with like, let us examine the record of spending on social services during the previous Parliament because that will provide a reasonable indication of the Conservatives likely commitment if they return to office. During the previous Parliament, spending on social services rose by 0.1 per cent. in real terms. That is the reality. We are providing additional resources as quickly as the country can afford and that is a result of the state of public finances and the improved state of the economy. Those resources are coming on line. If we compare like with like, social security resources are experiencing unprecedented growth and that is the reality. If the hon. Member for North Thanet is saying that he wants more than that to be made available, he should have that discussion with his Front-Bench spokesmen.